IND v SA, 2nd ODI : Partnership between Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer was great to watch : Shikhar Dhawan

Ranchi : India skipper Shikhar Dhawan said it was great for the side to watch the match-winning partnership between Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan in the hosts’ seven-wicket victory over South Africa in the second ODI at JSCA International Stadium on Sunday.

In a challenging chase of 279 on a slow and low pitch, Iyer (113 not out off 111 balls) and Kishan (93 off 84 balls) shared a match-winning stand of 161 off 155 balls for the third wicket to level the three-match series 1-1 and send the series to a decider in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The duo were also helped by the fact that dew hampered the South African bowlers’ efforts’ to put a lid on the scoring rate.”I must say that Ishan and Shreyas, the way they created that partnership was great to watch.

The ball was coming on nicely but it was keeping low. So our plan was to take on the bowlers in the first ten overs as we knew it could get difficult in the middle overs.””But once the dew came into the picture, it was skidding on.

So the back-foot shots were easy to execute,” said Dhawan in the post-match presentation ceremony.In the seven-wicket win, India were also helped by a late fightback in the last ten overs, led by Mohammed Siraj’s 3-38, with Avesh Khan and Shardul Thakur chipping in.

The bowlers executed slower balls and straighter lines to perfection to keep South Africa to two runs below 280 after Aiden Markram (79 off 89 balls) and Reeza Hendricks (74 off 76 balls) stitched a run-a-ball 129-run stand for the third wicket.

“I am very pleased with the bowlers, especially Shahbaz (Ahmed, 1-54 on his ODI debut). The way he bowled in the first ten overs and got us the breakthrough. They are all young and these are good learnings for them.”

“All the young boys, I’m so proud that they showed so much maturity. The toss worked perfectly, and I am glad. Thanks to Keshav that he chose to bat (laughs),” added Dhawan.Stand-in South Africa skipper Keshav Maharaj was surprised with dew becoming a huge factor in the second half of the innings.

“We didn’t expect dew to be such a factor here, that’s why we opted to bat. We tried what we could, Shreyas and Kishan played very well.””We thought the track will get slower and lower as the game progressed.But it got easier to bat after the 30th over due to the soft ball and dew that came on.”



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